Parliament elected Gordon Darcy Lilo prime minister on 16 November 2011, only days after his predecessor, Danny Philip, sacked him from the post of finance minister.
Mr Philip subsequently resigned when several MPs deserted his government in response to Mr Lilo's dismissal, leaving it without a majority in the 50-seat parliament. Mr Lilo won the backing of 29 MPs.
Several hundred protesters gathered to protest against Mr Lilo's election, hurling rocks at police and vehicles before being dispersed by riot police.
Born in 1965, Mr Lilo was first elected to parliament in 2001 and was a government minister from 2007. His constituency lies in the Western Province of the Solomon Islands.
His predecessor, Danny Philip, was elected prime minister after weeks of horse trading that followed a general election on 4 August 2010.
The 2010 vote was generally peaceful, with no repeat of the post-election riots of 2006.
Politics in the Solomon Islands is fluid, with no deep-rooted party-political system.